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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Human Resource Board Minutes 10/05/17
Human Resources Board of Chilmark
Present: Jennie Greene, Chair, Bruce Golden, Steven Flanders, Don Leopold, Chuck Hodgkinson, Employee Representative, Max McCreery
Not present: Jim Malkin, Selectmen’s Representative
Public/ Board or Comm. Members: Matt Poole
Staff: Jennifer Christy, Admin. Asst., Tim Carroll, Executive Secretary, Chief Jonathan Klaren, TriTown Deputy Chief Matt Montanile, Ebba Hierta, Library Director
Meeting called to order at 8:05AM

  • Ms. Greene opened the meeting.
  • Ms. Greene inquired if there was a total number of cost for the change to the new compensation plan as approved by the HRB and the Board of Selectmen. No document was yet available.
  • Ms. Greene suggested to the Board that the second item on the agenda be addressed at this time.
Asst. Library Director/Youth Services Position Description Review & Updating:
  • Mr. Hodgkinson presented the changes to the position description and discussed a proposed change from a grade 8 to a grade 9 and identified factors that create a competitive market on the island for this position. Factors that create a competitive market for library positions:
  • All island libraries use the same computer software
  • Many of the positions are benefitted and year-round
  • Mr. Hodgkinson distributed a revised chart (a revision of the chart reviewed and approved by the HRB on Sept. 29, 2017). Discussion occurred. Mr. Hodgkinson detailed the qualifications of the current Asst. Library Director/ Youth Services staff member. He also noted the fact that other positions in Town have a “two-step” grade structure that allows the position to advance one grade once a certification is reached.
  • Mr. Hodgkinson stated the case for moving the position from the grade 8 to a grade 9. Mr. Hodgkinson stated the main effects of increasing the grade of the position in FY18 to grade 9, step 1:
  • The cost would be low in the first year, but would allow four additional step increases for the current employee
  • Signaling to the current employee that the Town values the position
  • Mr. Hodgkinson characterized the reason to propose this change is due to a management concern, primarily.
  • Ms. Greene noted that this position in Chilmark is different from other Children’s librarians on the island and Asst. Directors because of the need to be the school librarian as well.
  • Mr. Hodgkinson stated that the current employee accepted the position because the library increased the hours to 35 from 30.
  • Mr. Flanders refuted the characterization of libraries as businesses and noted his understanding that the library positions on the island are not positions that people are generally leaving that often and that he felt these positions were not easy to get. Mr. Flanders noted the library is a small operation and that more perspective must be brought to the consideration of this topic. He further noted that personality and individual employees should not enter into the discussion of position and its compensation. Mr. Flanders also noted that he is careful to address increases in grade due to the fact that each increase has effects down the road in retirement expenses, for example.
  • Mr. Hodgkinson stated that Chilmark’s other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liability is the second best on the island at 5.7 million behind the Town of West Tisbury at 4.6 million.
  • Ms. Hierta addressed the hiring difficulties during the past summer and also addressed the particular needs of the Town of Chilmark. Ms. Hierta noted the supervisory requirements of the position. She also noted pressure from other job markets such as school systems.
  • Ms. Greene asked if there is any more discussion on the topic. Mr. Flanders reiterated a concern with the relatively small library in a small town and stated that the Town may not need an Assistant Library Director that is as qualified as indicated in the position description. He noted that it may be desirable to have over-qualified employees, but there is always a risk of turn-over of a high rate. He further questioned the requirement to have a master’s degree at the Asst. Director level. Ms. Hierta clarified the need for a very qualified Assistant Library Director in the Town of Chilmark.
  • Mr. McCreery inquired about the position as “developmental”. Ms. Hierta discussed the thinking when hiring the current Asst. Library Director as one that would possibly train to be a Director at some point. Ms. Hierta stated that the Asst. Director position has supervisory and education requirements and the pay should be commensurate. Ms. Hierta stated there is not much of a pool for hiring for this highly skilled position.
  • Ms. Hierta stated the library has the highest circulation per capita in the State of Massachusetts.
  • Mr. Leopold inquired what the criteria are for changing a grade and he noted there are three criteria that have been identified: individual (he noted may not be an acceptable criteria), educational, island marketplace/comparison to other positions in Town. Ms. Greene clarified that the criteria is what is the mean of the market (other island Towns).
  • Ms. Greene noted that market is the key criteria and also key criteria is education, the position’s responsibility with the library education for the school children, and the need to have someone with the ability to take the place of the Director.
  • Mr. Hodgkinson noted his understanding of criteria for changing a grade: comparable Town jobs, person was a “must-keep” and market competition.
  • Mr. Leopold asked if there is precedence for changing the position description to a two-step grade after certification or education.
  • Ms. Greene stated there is precedence for this and noted the Board of Health position and the Harbormaster position.
  • Ms. Hierta explained that she would be amenable to the change except that there are difficulties in gaining the educational requirements in a reasonable time period.
  • Ms. Greene asked if a motion would be made if the Asst. Library Director gains the Massachusetts Library Commissioners sub-certifications.
  • Mr. Leopold inquired whether Mr. Hodgkinson feels this change would satisfy his issues in putting this forward. Mr. Hodgkinson stated it would satisfy his issues due to the fact that the person in the position is a “must-keep”.
  • Ms. Greene again noted the additional duties of the Asst. Library Director/Youth Services in school library education for the Chilmark School. Ms. Greene stated the need for the Board to review this position and not the current employee in the position.
  • Board members stated their concern is with evaluating the position rather than an employee.
  • Mr. Leopold stated that the argument for an increase must rest on the position: he noted that in comparison to other comparable positions in Town it has been stated that it now appears to be undercompensated and he noted that it has been stated that the Town of Edgartown position (the most comparable) is not a reasonable comparison due to the other duties that the Chilmark position performs.
  • Mr. Flanders asked about the circulation statistics for Edgartown. Ms. Hierta stated that the Edgartown Library had, before the move to a new building, very similar circulation statistics.
  • More discussion occurred regarding the need to keep valuable employees as opposed to the needs of a small town.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the different environment and functions of the library in this day and age.
  • Mr. Golden moved to change the Asst. Library Director to Grade 9, step 1.
  • Mr. Leopold seconded the motion.
  • 4 ayes and 1 opposed.
TAX COLLECTOR Position Description Review & Updating:
  • The position description was reviewed and changes were made. Mr. Carroll made note of the changes on the red-lined draft provided.
  • Mr. Leopold stated there appears to be a mix of descriptions and a mix of qualifications and noted that the descriptions seem to address behaviors.
  • Mr. Carroll noted that the position descriptions include areas, and possibly terms, that were included in the past due to a perceived need at the time, but there is a need to normalize position descriptions town-wide.
  • Mr. Leopold noted that there is a need for consistency in the position descriptions.
  • Review of the position description continued. Changes were made to the descriptions to clean up language and to create more clarity.
  • Ms. Greene noted that the position has already been placed at Grade 11.
  • Mr. Leopold made a motion to approve the changes to the position description.
  • Mr. Golden seconded the motion.
  • All ayes.
TOWN CLERK Position Description Review & Updating:
  • The position description was reviewed and changes were made. Mr. Carroll made note of the changes on the red-lined draft provided.
  • Discussion occurred.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the new duties of a Records Access Officer and how the position as Super Records Access Officer.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the duties of supervision and for whom those apply.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the changes to Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities area and whether the Clerk position would benefit from a change.
  • Changes were made to the position description language to make consistent with other Town positions.
  • It was noted this position has been placed at a Grade 11 on the new wage plan.
  • It was noted that the hours of the RAO duties may make an impact on the hours of work required for the Town Clerk position (currently 21/week) and the Town Clerk was asked to keep track of the hours needed to perform these new duties for the FY19 budget hearings in the winter of 2018.
  • Mr. Leopold moved to accept the amended Town Clerk position description.
  • Mr. Golden seconded the motion.
  • All ayes.
Administrative Assistant to the TriTown Ambulance Position Description:
  • The letter was read from the TriTown Ambulance Chief.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the need to devise a new position description for the TriTown Administrative Assistant.
  • Mr. Hodgkinson requested that the department use the current Administrative Assistant position description to begin a new position description for the TriTown Administrative Assistant.
  • Mr. Carroll and Mr. Hodgkinson discussed the island-wide mean for the Administrative Assistant and whether it is compensated, island-wide, above or below the mean.
  • Mr. Montanile was asked to provide a position description for the meeting on November 2, 2017 and to have it to the Board by Friday, October 27, 2017.
Cost Analysis for New Compensation Plan for STM Warrant article:
  • Discussion occurred regarding when this information may be ready and whether overtime would be addressed in the wage compensation plan.
  • Ms. Greene noted she would contact labor counsel to ascertain the answer to the overtime question.
Next Meetings:
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017, 8AM
  • Review of final cost for new compensation plan changes for the Special Town Meeting warrant
  • Thursday,  November 2, 2017, 8AM
  • TriTown Administrative Asst.
Meeting adjourned at 10:04AM

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